Should I Get Rental Car Insurance?

Posted by Ian Dunn on Oct 9, 2015 8:00:00 AM

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Our recent blog post "Do I Need a Car When I Travel to Hawaii?" had some great information about renting a car based on what Hawaiian island you are traveling to. Renting a car on any vacation can sometimes have you scratching your head about whether or not you should spend the extra money on rental car insurance — especially, if you are already on a tight budget.


Ultimately, the option to purchase the rental car company's travel insurance is a decision that is solely yours. However, before you buy the rental car insurance, you might want to look into some other options, as you may already be covered. Therefore, below is a list of insurance options that you may not know your already have.

1. Check with your credit card company to see if you're already covered.

Many people are oblivious to the fact that your credit card company may already have rental car coverage built into their customers benefits. This perk offers some kind of rental car protection, and, generally speaking, they do not cover things such as personal injury or personal liability; although you may have that coverage through your auto insurance and health insurance, but they do typically cover collision damage and theft protection. In order to receive the full coverage of this insurance through your credit card you must be sure to do the following (please note that this may vary between credit card companies):

  • Decline the rental company's collision damage waiver (CDW/LDW).

  • Be the primary renter of the car.

  • Pay for the car in full with the card that provides the protection.


2. Check with your current auto insurance for rental car coverage.

If you have insurance for your own car(s), which almost everyone does, your collision and comprehensive coverages will be substantial enough to cover you. However, there are some pitfalls to your collisions and comprehensive coverage that you should be aware of. First, if your trip is for business, your  collisions and comprehensive coverage will not be covered — however, this might depend on your insurance company and you should double check with them.


Additionally, you need to be aware that your insurance contains a deductible — whereas, rental car company insurances only have a flat fee.


As you can see there are some benefits to paying the rental car company for coverage, however, it may be even cheaper to use coverage that you might already have. Therefore, fear not when it comes to being asked about rental car insurance, and just enjoy your vacation.


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